The Hamilton Spectator

Don’t call it a comeback

‘Girls5eva’ plans tour in new season

- By Dana Simpson

The 1980s had The Bangles, the ‘90s had the Spice Girls and while “girl groups” have significan­tly dropped off in popularity in recent years, K-pop stars BLACKPINK have proven that there is still room for young women at the top of the pop charts. But what of the older women? Netflix’s “Girls5Eva” attempts to explore that question — and its possible outcomes — in the series’ third season, premiering Thursday, March 14.

Ranking 98 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes’ famous Tomatomete­r (and featuring an 80 per cent Audience Score on the same site), the first season of “Girls5Eva” resonated remarkably well with viewers. The show, which follows fictional ‘90s girl group Girls5Eva as they reunite after a rapper samples one of their songs, has been hailed by critics as everything from “accessibly absurdist, riddled with clever zingers [and] thick with critique” (per Doreen St. Felix of the New Yorker) to “the kind of happy-golucky sitcom that’s perfect for a post-’Ted Lasso’ world” (per USA Today’s Kelly Lawler).

With regard to Netflix’s involvemen­t in the series, “Girls5Eva” joins the popular streamer after having been cancelled by NBC’s Peacock back in May 2022, just one month after the “charming” second season began. Now supported by a new platform (and each other, of course), the “girls” are more ready than “eva” to take their music career to the next level.

According to Netflix, the band has “reunited and recorded a new album, ‘Returnity,’ so it’s time for the next logical step: a comeback tour. With no plan, tour manager or venues secured, the ladies pile into a van and hit the great unknown, doing their damnedest to promote their album and get back on top.”

“In the process,” the Season 3 news release continues, “Girls5eva will grapple with life on the road, see their relationsh­ips tested, play a billionair­e’s birthday party, sow their oats, confront parents they believe held them back, cross paths with the biggest pop star on the planet and question if they really want ‘the big time’ again.”

In addition to some of life’s bigger, more prevalent questions, Season 3 asks whether “Girls5eva [will] fast-track their comeback and sell their tour documentar­y in the process,” or if the pressures of the road will “destroy them” before they have a chance to get back on top.

Created and executive produced by four-time Primetime Emmywinnin­g writer/producer Meredith Scardino (“Unbreakabl­e Kimmy Schmidt”) and backed by a team that includes “Mean Girls” (2004) writer Tina Fey and “30 Rock” showrunner Robert Carlock, “Girls5Eva” stars Broadway’s Sara Bareilles (“Waitress:The Musical”) and Renée Elise Goldsberry (“Hamilton,” 2020) as Dawn Solano and Wickie Roy, respective­ly, while “Saturday Night Live” comedian Paula Pell and “Freaks and Geeks’” Busy Philipps round out the band as Gloria McManus and Summer Dutkowsky.

While no official announceme­nts appear to have been made regarding new cast members joining the series bought by Netflix in October 2022, a quick investigat­ion points to the possible return of characters played by Andrew Ranells (“The Prom,” 2020), Daniel Breaker (“Billions”), Jeremiah Craft (“Luke Cage”) and John Lutz (“30 Rock”). Popular film and TV database IMDb also recognizes John Early (“Search Party”), Ron Canada (“The Human Stain,” 2003), Adriane Lenox (“The Butler,” 2013), Paul Dinello (“The Colbert Report”), Joy Suprano (“Fleishman Is in Trouble”) and Janine DiVita (“The Deuce”) among “Girls5eva’s” newest cast members.

David Miner (“Brooklyn NineNine”) of 3Arts Entertainm­ent, Eric Gurian (“Sisters,” 2015) of Little Stranger, Inc. and Jeff Richmond, known for his musical compositio­ns for “30 Rock,” “Unbreakabl­e Kimmy Schmidt” and both “Mean Girls” films (the 2004 original and its 2024 reboot), helped Universal Television to produce “Girls5eva” for Netflix. In a joint statement, released at the time of the Netflix takeover, Fey, Scardino, Carlock and Richmond expressed their excitement to continue work on the musical comedy series.

 ?? ?? Sara Bareilles and Paula Pell star in “Girls5eva”
Sara Bareilles and Paula Pell star in “Girls5eva”

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